MRNA Poised to Fall Following Double Dose of Downgrades

Meanwhile, the brokerage bunch is divided

Assistant Editor
Dec 16, 2020 at 9:26 AM
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Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) made headlines recently, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists gave the drugmaker's COVID-19 vaccine favorable reviews. Despite the fact that the vaccine could receive emergency authorization later this week, Both Jefferies and Morgan Stanley downgraded MRNA to "hold" and "equal-weight,"  respectively. The former cited "elevated expectations" as the catalyst for the bear note. However, both firms also hit the equity with a price-target hike to $150. Pre-market, Moderna stock is down 6.2%, at $137.85.

Coming into today, the brokerage bunch was divided. Of the 14 in coverage, eight sported a "buy" or better rating, while the remaining six called it a "hold" or worse. Meanwhile, the consensus 12-month price target of $126.60 is a 10.5% discount to last night's close.

On the charts, the first day of December saw Moderna stock soar to a record high of $178.50. On Dec. 8, the equity managed a record close of $169.86, before consolidating just above the $155 level over the next four sessions. Still, year-to-date, MRNA boasts a 652.7% rise. 

Lastly, regarding the options pits, puts have been all the rage. This is per the security's 50-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands higher than all other readings in the past 12 months. So, while calls are moving at a quicker pace, this indicates a much healthier-than-usual appetite for puts of late.

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